How to Decouple your property to avoid ABSD?

When property is purchased, extra buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) must be paid in addition to the current buyer’s stamp duty, which is determined by the property’s valuation. However, it may be quite expensive, thus some individuals utilize decoupling as one of their strategies to avoid having to pay the ABSD. We’ll learn today how you may avoid paying ABSD on your second residential home by decoupling properties.

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Does decoupling mean?

If a residential property is co-owned, the decoupling process is the transfer of ownership where the buyer assumes complete ownership of the current property. This is a typical practice for married couples wishing to purchase a second home. The way it operates is that the seller’s property count is lowered when the buyer gains possession of the home, allowing the seller to purchase a second residential property with a lower or zero ABSD.

A few things to think about before decoupling your property

To prevent any issues down the road, there are a few things you should think about before deciding to disconnect your property.

High-rise apartments

It is forbidden for married couples to separate from their HDB apartment. Only when buying a HDB apartment from an ex-spouse or transferring the apartment among family members is decoupling permitted.

Concealed Assets

Decoupling of private properties is mostly unrestricted, but there are still certain things to be cautious about. First and foremost, the buyer will be responsible for financing any outstanding loans if the home has an existing mortgage. Second, if the seller transfers possession of the property within four years after the purchase, they are responsible for seller stamp duty.

Decoupling’s Costs and Savings

Decoupling a property is done in order to maximize the savings from the reduction in the amount of ABSD due. Let us examine the expenses related to decoupling and the estimated savings that one might anticipate.

Stamp Duty on Purchaser

Even if they own a portion of the property, the buyer of the property shares will still be responsible for paying Buyer Stamp Duty on the agreed purchase price or property value.

Legal Charges

Since legal paperwork must be created for the acquisition of property and ownership transfer, there are costs associated with the decoupling procedure. While the seller hires a law company to manage the transfer and sale of their portion of the property, the buyer will be responsible for paying the conveyancing fees, which are costs associated with the transfer of property.


The total of these expenses subtracted from the price of ABSD without decoupling represents the savings. Most of the time, savings will be realized; nevertheless, there are situations when decoupling may not be financially feasible due to costs exceeding savings. This is the case when a costly property is decoupled in order to buy a much more affordable one.

The drawbacks of decoupling

Decoupling can save a lot of money, but it’s not always the smartest course of action.

The expense exceeds the savings

Decoupling can occasionally be more expensive than it initially appears, particularly if the first home is more expensive than the second.


Creditors may be able to take possession of the transferred share of the property if the transferor files for bankruptcy within five years of the transfer date.

Calculation Errors

Calculating the various ABSD due amounts for each situation may be highly complicated and expensive. Hire an expert or specialist to do the calculations if you are not good at them; they may provide you advice on the best course of action.

Decoupling property is a popular strategy used by many to lower the cost of investment since real estate is an expensive purchase and it’s crucial to find every option to save expenses. We at decoupling expertise are experts in property-related legal support, and we have assisted several clients in decoupling their properties in order to maximize their profits. Send us a note, and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way we can!

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About the Author: VyVy Aneloh Team